When it came to planning for our actual ceremony, there were three main things to consider: the vows, the readings, and the music. I’ll be talking about the music later, so let’s discuss the vows and readings today, shall we?
The vows were the easiest part to nail down. We will not be writing our own vows, but instead using the traditional vows that have been used for many, many years before us. Both Mr. E and I are extremely lucky to have parents who have been married for over 30 years, and we wanted to use the same vows that they used on their wedding days and still ring true years later.
With the vows taken care of, we moved on to the readings. Although Mr. E is more spiritual than into organized religion, we decided to have one reading from the Bible and one from another source. I have always loved hearing 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 at weddings, so that will be our scripture reading.
The other reading took a little more research. Enter Google. I Googled “popular wedding readings” and read…and read…and read some more, until I found a couple that could be contenders. Some of my favorites included an excerpt from Nicholas Sparks’s book The Notebook as well as the poem “True Love” by an unknown author.
But nothing touched me like “The Art of a Good Marriage” by Wilfred Arlan Peterson.
“Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In marriage the little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice,
but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow old.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
I read several to Mr. E and his favorite was my favorite too! I can’t wait to hear it read by BM Philly’s mom, Mrs. M. (Mrs. M and Mama Elephant met in Lamaze class when they were pregnant with our older brothers, and our families have been friends forever.) She has been a second mom to me, and I am so honored to have her stand up and read this on our wedding day.
Mama Elephant, Mrs. M, BM Philly, and me in North Carolina
Do you have a special person to read at your wedding? What readings did you select?